My name is Rachael Bastick. Despite the, what’s the word, distinctness of my surname, I guess I should be proud of being the last girl in the family to have it.
Had you Googled my name four years ago, you might have found it in an awards’ listings from my high school, or in piano and athletic competition results in the small city of Toowoomba Australia.
Life can be unexpected, I’m discovering. Four years ago, no one would have guessed that I would soon move to New York, become a professional dancer, and travel the world performing on some of its most renowned stages.
Today, you have to go to page six of my Google search results to find a reference to our Toowoomba High School 4X100 meters relay victory. The first pages are all filled with news from the International Classical Chinese Dance Competition and reports about performances with Shen Yun, including a congratulatory message from the mayor of Toowoomba.
The 16-year-old, ignorant me on the stage of our Toowoomba High School couldn't have imagined that the audience, once mostly parents and adjudicators, would one day consist of entertainment celebrities, fashion moguls, business leaders, and other VIPs at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center.
Our set of January Lincoln Center shows was my first time there. The union workers and managers were very congenial and we appreciated their meticulous, conscientious help with our stage set up.
The audience members' reactions to our show were insightful, positive, and appreciative of the performance’s qualities and the entertainment we provided—even from a spiritual level. It was a pleasure performing there and our company concluded the Lincoln Center shows eager to return in April.
We have three companies that simultaneously tour around the world, and many of my fellow dancers look forward to touring Asia-Pacific. Everything about it is different—the people, the weather, the food. It’s full of enjoyable places to visit (like home! for a handful of us), and, of course, the shopping opportunities are not to be missed.
As much as I too would love to revisit Asia, I’ve realized that staying in America, as my group—Touring Company—is this season, has been more fulfilling than I anticipated. After successfully concluding our sold-out New York shows, we have since toured New England, and then traveled south to warmer climates in Georgia, North Carolina, and, next—Florida!
I’m looking forward to the next cities to come, including DC’s renowned Kennedy Center in March, and a return to Lincoln in April.